A bunch more shocking and amazing stuff happning this week!
IN THIS WEEK’S “So…many…Jokers…” story, With Warner Bros. and DCEU throwing so many Jokers at us in different films, you gotta wonder if (hope) anyone over there is having second thoughts.
The Joker character has been the source of all sorts of insane rumors and speculation. Will Jared Leto’s Joker show up in Suicide Squad 2? How about Birds of Prey? Oh yeah, and there’s that standalone movie too right? And where does Joaquin Phoenix fit into all of this?
Well, according to Mark Hughes, from Forbes, it’s not as complicated as we originally thought.
Appearing on the Superhero News Show, Hughes first stated that he thinks the idea of a standalone Leto Joker film is not likely, however, he could appear in ‘Squad 2’ or “Birds of Prey.” What’s more likely is that Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker could be the future:
“I think Joaquin Phoenix is playing the Joker in a standalone film, that will possibly wind up not being standalone, as the situation evolved with the solo Batman movies and the future of the DCEU shapes up. I haven’t heard anything firm, but I’ve heard certainly whispers from several people that I’ve talked to about that project… so now it looks like there’s going to be that project and I have heard from a few people that there is talk of if [the Joker] movie is really going to go forward and if it’s really that good, if we’re rebooting Batman anyway, he’s going to need a Joker. We can’t use preexisting Jokers. So, we either have Jared Leto showing up as the Joker in some sort of sequel movie, and a Joaquin Phoenix solo Joker movie, and then we have to have another Joker. Wouldn’t it make more sense to take a Martin Scorsese-produced Joker with Joaquin Phoenix and wait and see if it works out, then just cross that and have that be the Joker for the new Batman?”
Ok, if you can make sense of any of that, it appears from that explanation that WB is definitely moving forward on a Phoenix Joker film, and if that film is a hit, they will fold him into the new Matt Reeves ‘Batman’ series.
There’s a shitload of speculation going on, though, so I wouldn’t assume anything.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Most bonkers title this year” story, Fantasia Film Festival 2018 is just around the corner and making its world premiere at the festival is The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot.
Yes, you read that right. And wait til you hear who’s starring in it. Produced by John Sayles (Lone Star), the film stars Sam Elliott as the titular World War II veteran who secretly assassinated Hitler before being recruited by the FBI and The Royal Canadian Mounted Police to take out Bigfoot.
Written and directed by Robert D. Krzykowski, The Man who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot also stars Aidan Turner, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Larry Miller, and Ron Livingston. The film will premiere at Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal next month.
Insanity. I must see it!
IN THIS WEEK’S “Terror times two” story, AMC has renewed their anthology series The Terror, for season 2.
This installment hails from Scott (who executive produced the first season) and co-creators Alexander Woo (True Blood) and Max Borenstein (Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla).
According to the official logline, the next iteration of the anthology series will be set during World War II and center on an uncanny specter that menaces a Japanese-American community from its home in Southern California to the internment camps to the war in the Pacific.
If you didn’t watch The Terror on AMC this past season, you missed out on some seriously great television.
The first season of The Terror — co-created and executive produced by David Kajganich and Soo Hugh — was inspired by the true story of the Royal Navy’s perilous voyage in 1847 while attempting to discover the Northwest Passage, as they are haunted by a supernatural creature. Season 1, which starred Jared Harris, Tobias Menzies and Ciarán Hinds, aired its finale last month.
“The Terror has given us the opportunity to take a unique approach to the anthology format,” said David Madden, president of original programming for AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios. “We loved the concept of beginning with an actual historical event and overlaying it with a fictional horror element, and we are immensely proud of this show’s combination of cinematic scope and intimate character work. We are thrilled to announce a second season and dramatize one of the most chilling and important events of the 20th Century, guided by the vision of the gifted Alexander Woo and Max Borenstein.”
I look forward to this!
IN THIS WEEK’S “Quickest reboot ever?” story, Paramount has launched development of a third Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie — two years after Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows was a serious disappointment.
The studio has hired Andrew Dodge, whose credits include Bad Words, to write the script. Producers are Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller through their Platinum Dunes production company.
The studio is aiming to reboot the franchise through the third “Ninja Turtles” project.
Paramount’s two movies are based on the comic by Kevin Eastman and Kevin Laird about wisecracking pizza-loving turtle superheroes named after the Renaissance artists Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo and Donatello, using ninja skills acquired from a radioactive New York City rat. The first movie, simply called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, was released in 2014 and grossed $493 million worldwide while Out of the Shadows took in about half that.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Y, still standing” story, .That Hashtag Show is reporting that Foster is in talks to star in FX’s upcoming series Y: The Last Man based on the Brian K. Vaughan comic series of the same name. The series is set in a world where a mysterious plague has wiped out the world’s male chromosome.
It follows escape artist Yorick “Y” Brown who is the last surviving human with a Y chromosome and his Capuchin monkey sidekick, Ampersand, as they set out to get to the bottom of what happened. If cast, Foster would be playing Jennifer Brown, the mother of Y and Ohio congresswoman. Brown role in the government plays a key role in the series.
The series has been a long time coming, many iterations in movie form failed over the years and has been in development with FX since 2015. Finally, in April of this year, a pilot directed by Melina Matsoukas was ordered to begin production in late July. Logan co-screenwriter and American Gods co-showrunner Michael Green is set to run the show.
Before this year’s Hotel Artemis, the last time we saw Foster was in 2013’s Elysium. During that five year absence, the celebrated actor had been busy behind the camera directing. Foster has helmed two episodes of Orange is The New Black, an episode of House of Cards and Black Mirror each, as well as the Julia Roberts and George Clooney vehicle Money Monster. Should the project all come together, this would be Foster’s first regular television role since the much-forgotten Paper Moon — yep, an adaptation of Peter Bogdanovich‘s 1973 black and white classic which she also starred in and only ran for one season.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Black Widow: progress continues” story, while noting has officially been announced, it’s been widely reported that Marvel Studios has begun the process of bringing Black Widow to the big screen.And according to Deadline, we now know that Marvel Studios is starting to narrow down its shortlist of directors, with one name popping up as a favorite.
The report states that Australian filmmaker Cate Shortland is a director to “keep an eye on” as Marvel Studios begins to figure out their Black Widow film. Shortland is probably best known for the films Lore and her most recent release Berlin Syndrome. Deadline doesn’t name anyone else that is on Marvel Studios’ shortlist.
Recently, Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, has been keeping mum on the slate of films that are coming post-Avengers 4. However, Feige has said that there will be “a heck of a lot” of female filmmakers hired to tackle projects for the superhero studio. And obviously, with a film like Black Widow, which would no doubt feature Scarlett Johansson in the lead role, a female filmmaker would be a priority for Marvel.
Still too early to say when a Black Widow film would release, but it appears that things are moving along – finally.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Rocket Man” story, Jamie Bell is in negotiations to play Bernie Taupin, the famed songwriter who collaborated on 30 albums with Elton John, in Paramount’s biopic Rocketman starring Taron Egerton as John.
Dexter Fletcher is attached to helm the project. Lee Hall penned the script. Paramount Pictures will finance and distribute the pic.
Taupin began collaborating on songs with John back in 1967, when the two both answered an advertisement for talent placed in the New Musical Express by Liberty Records A&R man Ray Williams. Though both were rejected for that job, John would stumble across Taupin’s poetry, leading to one of the greatest music collaborations ever.
The two worked together on hits including “Crocodile Rock,” “Honky Cat,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Candle in the Wind,” “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting,” “Bennie and the Jets,” and the title of the project, “Rocket Man”.
Matthew Vaughn and his Marv Films will produce, along with John and his Rocket Pictures partner David Furnish.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Solo broke it” story, Sources with knowledge of the situation tell Collider that Lucasfilm has decided to put plans for more A Star Wars Story spinoff movies on hold, instead opting to focus their attention on Star Wars: Episode IX and what the next trilogy of Star Wars films will be after that film. Sources tell us that the previously rumored Obi-Wan movie was in active development, but those who were working on the film are no longer involved. It was recently reported that Logan filmmaker James Mangold was in early talks to write and direct the Boba Fett film, but that was before Solo’s release.
This news comes in the wake of the disappointing launch of Solo, which was only Lucasfilm’s second A Star Wars Story spinoff, but which received mixed-positive reviews and fell short of box office expectations. The film scored $84.4 million on opening weekend and has grossed $192.8 million domestically (and $339.5 million worldwide) in four weeks, which is nothing to scoff at but is far, far lower than the performance of other Star Wars movies at this benchmark. For comparison’s sake, Rogue One opened to $155 million and had grossed $424 million domestic by Week 4. To put it simply, while Solo did fine by blockbuster standards, it wasn’t the “event” that Lucasfilm expected out of a brand new Star Wars movie.
Poor babies, they didn’t make a nauseating amount of money like they hoped.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Star Trek stuff” story, some very interesting talk is coming out of CBS. Following the successful launch of Star Trek: Discovery, new season two showrunner Alex Kurtzman has revealed to Entertainment Weekly that CBS is planning on “expanding the Star Trek franchise for television”.
According to the site, CBS has three different Star Trek concepts in development, and one is said to be a sequel to Star Trek: The Next Generation which would see Patrick Stewart reprising his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
Just days ago, Stewart hinted at a potential Star Trek return, although it was assumed that he was referring to a possible guest role in Star Trek: Discovery. However, EW stresses that the TNG sequel is not yet a certainty and the deal is “far from done”.
Wowzers. A possibility of more Picard? Yes, please.
IN THIS WEEK’s “Pixar’s new honchos” story, With former Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter exiting his position at both Walt Disney Animation and Pixar, some high-profile names are stepping in to fill the void in the executive roles, splitting Lasseter’s former duties. Now, Jennifer Lee will take on the position of Chief Creative Officer at Walt Disney Animation Studios while Pete Docter will be Chief Creative Officer of Pixar Animation Studios.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Civil War era cast” story, Oscar nominees James Cromwell and Bruce Dern have signed on for Emperor, joining previously announced star Dayo Okeniyi in the Civil War-abolitionist film directed by former Lionsgate exec Mark Amin. Paul Scheer, Harry Lennix, Naturi Naughton, Mykelti Williamson, Ben Robson, Keean Johnson, and Kat Graham are also attached to co-star in the film, which hails from Amin’s Sobini Films banner.
Inspired by the true story, the pic follows Shields Green (Okeniyi), who in 1859 escaped from a plantation and made a daring journey north where he met Frederick Douglass (Lennix) and John Brown. With the opportunity to continue to freedom in Canada, Green instead chose to fight to end slavery. The raid at Harpers Ferry is considered one of the sparks that led to the Civil War.
Cromwell and Dern will play John Brown and Levi Coffin, respectively, two of the great heroes of the American abolitionist movement. Cromwell can be seen this weekend in Universal’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, while Dern next co-stars with Matthew McConaughey in Sony’s White Boy Rick.
Known for her role in the Starz drama, Power, Naughton will play Sarah Green, the wife of abolitionist and runaway slave Shields Green. Sheer, recently seen in The Disaster Artist and Veep, will portray drunken, pretentious plantation owner Duvane Henderson.
The film, co-written by Amin and Pat Charles, is currently shooting in Savannah, Georgia.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Disney wants it bad” Update 6/19/2018: According to CNBC, Fox’s board meets Wednesday to discuss Comcast’s bid, and if Fox decides they prefer Comcast’s offer to Disney’s offer, Disney has five days to match. The Mouse House “is expected to add cash to its bid” in addition to the stock-based offer it currently has in place.Slash Film’s original article follows.
Things just got slightly more complicated in the ongoing saga of 21st Century Fox. Many of the company’s assets were long thought to be acquired by Disney, but as promised, Comcast has now officially swooped in with a superior offer to acquire Fox’s film studio, most of its TV channels, and more. And it looks like they’re coming out swinging: a Comcast Fox deal would mean that Comcast would buy the Fox assets for a hefty $65 billion, far surpassing Disney’s offer of $52 billion.
UPDATE 6/20/2018: Bloomberg reports that Fox has accepted a $71.3 billion bid from Disney, which tops Comcast’s previous offer of $65 billion. Disney’s new offer “gives Fox shareholders the option to take their payment in the form of cash or stock, up to a 50-50 level”, and the company will also “take on about $13.8 billion of Fox’s net debt”, which brings the total value of the deal to north of $85 billion.
With companies getting larger, there are going to be fewer of them leaving less choices for consumers for streaming services. Sure, we care who gets the X-men, but ultimately will that really be enough compared to the price we’ll all pay for less streaming competition?
I don’t know, just something to think about.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Some more Roald Dahl” story, Robert Zemeckis is in final negotiations to direct Warner Bros.’ adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic book The Witches, studio sources tell Variety.
Sources say a deal is expected shortly. Zemeckis will also pen the script, with his partner Jack Rapke producing through their banner ImageMovers, along with Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro. Del Tor had long been attached to direct, but a scheduling conflict led the Oscar winner to vacate the director’s chair.
Based on the 1973 novel, the film follows a seven-year-old boy who has a run in with real-life witches. Warner Bros. had previously adapted the book in 1990 with Anjelica Huston playing one of the title characters, but sources close to the project say Zemeckis’ version will be more rooted in the original source material, while the Huston pic was a loose adaptation.
The studio had been looking for projects in Zemeckis’ wheelhouse, having previously met with him for their Flash standalone film starring Ezra Miller. Zemeckis ended up directing the Universal pic Welcome to Marwen instead, but WB execs and the filmmaker were still eager to find something to work on together.
In recent years, Zemeckis has been more focused on adult-centered dramas like Flight, Allied, and his upcoming Welcome to Marwen, and less interested in the tentpoles that made him famous early on his career. “The Witches could mark a return to that family-friendly genre, like the Back to the Future franchise and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which helped turn him into one of Hollywood’s biggest directors.
Welcome to Marwen, starring Steve Carell, bows on Nov. 21.
IN THIS WEEK’S “George in the chair” story, Deadline is reporting that Clooney is about to helm his next film, and this time the director is taking on a new genre – sci-fi. The film, titled Echo, tells the story of a drone specialist who believes that his lover has been replaced and is not who she says she is. Echo is produced by Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, and Dan Cohen. Those are the gentlemen responsible for Arrival, Stranger Things, and the upcoming Kin and Darkest Minds.
The film is written by Christopher MacBride, who is a writer-director known for his film The Conspiracy and the upcoming The Education of Fredrick Fitzell, which is slated to star Dylan O’Brien and Maika Monroe.
No news on who will star as of yet. But he knows lots of solid actors so I’m sure it will be someone good – if he chooses not to star in it himself, that is.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Guardians 3” story, it’s official: according to director James Gunn, events in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will takes place AFTER Avengers: Infinity War.
This news puts the kibosh in the Russo Brothers‘ claim that the third entry in the Guardian franchise might be set before Infinity War. SPOILERS for Infinity War follow (if you’re one of the few that hasn’t seen it yet).
The end of Avengers: Infinity War was shocking, but it also created a unique problem for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the dramatic conclusion, half of the universe’s population is erased from existence – including every member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, save for Rocket (and Nebula, if you want to count her as a Guardian member).
Everyone from the Russo’s to Chris Pratt has danced about the issue implying that it could be a prequel, or just that Marvel doesn’t always do things in linear time. But Gunn made it pretty clear by replying to someone on Twitter that GotG 3 will take place after Infinity War, so I’d say that’s fairly reliable.
And IN THIS WEEK’S “Best idea ever” story, in an interview with The Guardian, Actor Christopher Plummer talked about his career, how he’s come to stop hating The Sound of Music, and his new online reputation for being the go-to guy to replace fired actors. People are clearly throwing his name into every possible substitution.
And where his newfound viral fame is concerned, he is not entirely unaware. “I have heard about these, I always chuckle. The latest one was Roseanne! Why not bring me in to play Roseanne for the next season, I couldn’t believe this. I think it’s hilarious!”
Crazy! Thanks for stopping by – see you next week!